I use these under my Sound Anchor studio stands:
I use a pair of extra large Symposium Svelte Shelves under my speakers. These are designed to dissipate vibrational energy as heat (vibration from the cabinet is transmitted into the shelf which has a rubbery core). This acts to tighten up the bass and reduce the amount of energy that is then transferred to the floor.
I have heard a number of setups that use such vibration dampening approaches and it is quite effective--provided that such dampening is desirable. Each setup is different, so this approach may actually make the sound too dry and analytical if additional dampening is NOT what is needed.
Experimentation is required.
As much as I like Auralex products; anything you place under your main/full range speaker, that allows the cabinet to move, will blur imaging and smear transient detail. Spikes are best(solidly anchoring cabinet/draining vibrations), generally adjustable, and can be placed on metal plates, to protect hardwoods(http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?_adv_prop=image&fr=my-myy&va=speaker+spikes+and+feet). Some enjoy cabinet colorations/vibrations and, "softer/more relaxed sound" , just as some enjoy the colorations of microphonic tubes. That's a matter of personal preference, and as some would say, "YMMV."
Larryi is spot on. Enter the Kef 105.2 with the isolastic driver mounts. Damping the drivers does produce a more analytical/dry and actually more defined response, but not as dynamic. The first series Kef's sounded much better. Rubber mounting speakers or drivers in any way shape or form makes no sense imo. You're simply defeating their purpose by doing so.
Just be aware that anything you put under the speakers that is taller than the existing spikes is going to alter the sound by moving your ears out of the vertical sweet spot. You may have to compensate for this by changing your listening height as well.
I would suggest putting some floor protectors between the spikes and your hardwood floors. Parts Express sells these, or you could just use pennies.
The Pendragon is a fine speaker BTW.
I am definitely no expert in this area so find this statement very interesting. I was looking at Stillpoints isolation "feet". Would you say these would also have the same blurring and smearing effect you describe above? Very curious as I was thinking about trying these out under my monitors.
"Just be aware that anything you put under the speakers that is taller than the existing spikes is going to alter the sound by moving your ears out of the vertical sweet spot." Interesting! How do you know the OP's ears are IN the, "vertical sweet spot?" How high is his listening seat? How tall is he? A speaker that was so beamy, in the vertical plane, that it could not remain accurate if raised or lowered by an inch or two, would be pointless. How many people do you know, that are exactly the same height? Just curious! Just saying.....
Mr T- Stillpoints dealers are supposed to have demo pieces avaiable, for your audition. The Stillpoints are excellent for electronics and isolation from extraneous vibrations. They would not, however, couple a speaker cabinet to the floor, help drain it's vibrations, or prevent movement(in any plane). It's been my experience; these are paramount to accurate reproduction, whether speakers are box or planars. If you can find a Stillpoints dealer, that will allow a home demo; you have nothing to lose, by trying them. Happy listening!
Using either sharp feet or vibration absorbing platforms essentially changes how vibration in the speaker cabinet is dissipated. An absorbing platform does not increase the shaking of the cabinet, rather, it conveys that energy into the platform and dissipates that energy as heat (from molecules in the elastic core rubbing against each other. Pointed feet direct that vibrational energy down into the flooring for dissipation by the flooring. If the flooring is very solid (e.g., concrete or hardwood on concrete), the energy is again dissipated as heat with very little radiation of sound from the flooring (because the flooring is very solid and massive it is hard to move, and therefore, does not readily vibrate). If that flooring is also covered by carpet, whatever sound is radiated is mostly absorbed by the carpet. If the flooring is wood on some kind of suspended structure, there is greater chance that the flooring itself will act as a kind of soundingboard and radiate sound. This could muddy the sound, or alternatively, it could add some warmth to the sound that is needed by the system.
Putting some sort of solid puck under sharp points to protect a hardwood floor actually prevents sharp-pointed feet from working fully as they are intended. The lack of intense pressure on a small point reduces the coupling of the footer to the floor so less energy is transferred to the floor. That means more energy reflected back toward the speaker, and therefore, more "shaking" than the use of no puck under the foot.
I don't know of any way to reliably predict whether one approach is better than another other, and instead, I rely on experimentation. Having helped with a lot of setups, I can only report that use of absorbing platforms is often the preferred approach (perhaps a little over 50% of the time).
"Interesting! How do you know the OP's ears are IN the, "vertical sweet spot?" How high is his listening seat? How tall is he? A speaker that was so beamy, in the vertical plane, that it could not remain accurate if raised or lowered by an inch or two, would be pointless. How many people do you know, that are exactly the same height? Just curious! Just saying....."
I do not know any of the particulars about his situation, or yours for that matter. But I can tell you that there is one vertical height at which his (and your) speakers sound their best. Once you experiment and find that position, you can either adjust them or you so that you achieve the best sound.
I am not talking about millimeters here. But if he is considering raising his speakers several inches off the floor, I don't think that is advisable.
Hi Larry- Regarding, "better": Like I said in my first post; it's a matter of preference(completely subjective) and YMMV. By all means: experiment! If I had exposed hardwood; it would just have to suffer(a matter of priorities)! Metal under spikes is by no means optimum. BTW: Spikes are supposed to(theoretically) act as a sort of mechanical diode, allowing vibes to travel from their wider part, to their points(one direction), then into whatever they are atop("Mechanical Grounding"). Some substrates work better at that, than others(again: experimentation required). A different approach to vibration handling than the, "Energy Conservation" method of yours or the Stillpoints(converting motion into heat). Auralex is basically foam rubber, and would allow much more motion of the cabinet and drivers relative to one another(action/reaction) and to the listening position. It takes very little of that, to have a deleterious(to me, anyway) effect.
Hi Tboo I did the upgrade from standard kevlar cones to Stillpoints Ultra SS to Ultra 5 under ny Rockport Hyperions.
i can tell you, that this is the a very very good tweak.
I already had a combination of BDR shelves and the source together with the Ultra S with bases ( importaint) under all the upfront equipment as well as the hole gear is mounted on the wall and the speaker on the floor ( floor and walls are not direct atached to each other but separated with polystyren insulation, to avoid cold bridges)
The result was increased resoluiton, much finer taxture and extraodinary expancion of the sound stageas well as a more live articulation of the music. Very lively and adictive.
It is however very importain for the Ultra SS to have the correct hard surface underneath but this is relativ cheap to make experiments here. I also adtioned a set up with ProAc D100 speakers where the Ultra SS and 5 also made a emormusly positive diffence as it did for me. The Stillpoints are not cheap but compared to the effect the provide simply a must under ultra highend gear, after my opiniom.
So try them, they are worth it.
Interesting topic. I've thought about this quite a bit also. I suppose the best would be a resonance free speaker cabinent and then your speaker basically drilled into the floor but...
Do you guys think that it's good to have some sort of spiked platform like a thick piece of maple or even concrete slab (like what Elizabeth referred to) on spikes, and then place your speakers (with spikes) on ghe platform? I figure solid is best because you've got to wonder if you can easily sway your speakers, when you are playing them won't the vibrations from the speaker cones sway the speakers marring the image etc.?
On a side note, the most solid set-up I've had so far were two inch spikes screwed in the bottom of lead shot filled stands that were mounted (i.e. screwed) onto the bottom of my vandersteens. This setup was crazy heavy. I bet each speaker weighed 70 pounds and with the long pointed spikes they just dug into the wood sub floor and were pretty much rock solid but then the whole coupling vs. decoupling debate comes into play.
I've found it interesting also that even when stands are filled with lead shot and or play sand and they are heavy and sound pretty resonance free with the knuckle tap test, they still resonate with speakers on them playing music.
Anywho, I think the speaker manufacturers should just spend the extra cash to mount a really well engineered plinth to the bottoms of our speakers set-up for carpeted surfaces with an included alternate for wood floors. Sure would save us over analytical audiophiles some sleep ;-)